4.2L Cam Sensor Synchronization - F150online Forums


4.2L Cam Sensor Synchronization


Old 06-16-2005, 11:50 AM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9
4.2L Cam Sensor Synchronization

If you have ever had to remove your cam position sensor, drive, timing cover etc...on your 3.8l, 4.2l etc. and didn't want to buy the special little tool that they make just for this, then this little tip is for you!

After having had to do this myself, and not having found much information - on the web or from any books etc... -A friend of mine found this procdure in the "Identifix update" Jan-Feb 2004 edition. It actually refers to a windstar with a 3.8L, but he swears that it will work with most OBD-II Ford products with Hall-effect type cam sensors. I used it on my 4.2L and it worked out just fine.

1. Bring the engine up to top dead center (TDC) of the compression stroke for cylider #1.

2. The engine needs to be positioned at 26 degrees AFTER TDC. There will often be a large grove machined into the balancer at this point. If not, mark the balancer by measuring from TDC to 26 degrees BEFORE top dead center. Take that measurement and make your own mark at 26 degrees AFTER top dead center (TDC)

3. Drop in the synchronizer so that the leading edge of the vane is very close to the center of the opening of the housing (this is directly below the actual sensing part of the cam sensor)

4. Leaving the synchronizer loose, install the cam sensor and connect a voltmeter from ground to the DARK BLUE/ORANGE wire with the sensor plugged in.

5. With the key on, the voltmeter should read either '0 volts' or 'battery voltage'.

6. Turn the synchronizer back and forth to find the point where the voltage is just switching from '0 volts' to 'battery voltage'.

7. Once you find that point, tighten down the hold-down bolt.

If anybody would like the entire article, let me know.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2005, 06:07 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9
Oh, I found out something to go along with this, in the step where is says the DARK BLUE / ORANGE wire, it may NOT be that color, mine was GREEN, anyway, I think it shoudl be the center wire of the three
Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2005, 12:23 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11
26 degrees?

I changed my cam position sensor about a year ago and don't remember if I adjusted 26 deg. from top dead center.
What would happen if I did not make this adjustment and put the assembly in the truck?
Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2005, 04:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 68
If the crank/cam are not in the right position my guess is the fuel injector timing will be off. This can damage the engine, so says the Haynes/Chiltons.

Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2005, 12:45 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11
OK, thank you.
I did this about a year ago and cannot remember performing the 26 deg. adjustment. Truck is still running OK.
Must have made the adjustment
Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2005, 09:09 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: poquoson virginia
Posts: 1,080
OR, you could just remove the balancer first, so as not to rotate the engine, then take a cold chisel and stake the bottom of the synchro and the cover to locate that, then remove the black sensor on top of the synchro, and put a reference mark so you know where it will line up, then remove the sensor. This works for timing cover removal and reinstall. Replacing the synchro works a lot the same way, however the stake won't do anything for you. As long as you don't rotate the engine, and line up the inner hall effect wheel the same as the old(have to mark the old one) and the connector doesn't interfere with anything, it's ok. Yes, this does time the fuel injectors to number one cylinder. They will still run, but will have some effects.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2007, 09:24 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3
Hi - can I have the entire article as you were offering?
Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 09:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 68
Ahah, found this article again.

Question: I want to install my CPS in my engine block while it is still on my engine stand.

Can I hook up a 12V battery to it to perform the volt meter test?

If so, to which wires do I hook up the 12V?

Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2009, 11:36 PM
Raptor05121's Avatar
Technical Article Contributor
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Live Oak, FL
Posts: 10,611
What is a CPS?
Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2009, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 68
Camshaft Position Sensor
Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2016, 09:49 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 2
Help!!! Cam sync

Im in the middle of replacing my cam sensor on a 94 ford 4.0 V6. Im wondering how I would set it to TDC after the cam sync has been removed from the block. I assume its possible I mean they do it in the factory right?

I marked it I took pics I removed it and now I cannot for the life of me get the new one in and even the old one only goes in in the wrong way so Im thinking I have it at tdc but 180 out? I do not want to screw it up but need to get it done tonight any tips?
Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Introduction Forum
11-06-2015 08:24 PM
2004 - 2008 F-150
10-02-2015 03:27 PM
V8 Engines
09-29-2015 09:14 AM
Exhaust & Intake Systems
09-27-2015 07:14 AM
V8 Engines
09-26-2015 05:43 AM

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:44 PM.

  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: